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  • Writer's pictureJon Ruwolt

A Snowtown woman won $40m in Powerball

Snowtown is a small community but locals are none the wiser on who was the lucky winner of a $40 million lotto first division prize. So who is she?

The members of the “stitch and bitch” club who meet at the Snowtown Newsagency had the ultimate piece of gossip to unpick on Friday – the identity of the local mum who is now $40m richer.

Sharee Cocks inside the Snowtown newsagency
Sharee Cocks enjoying a piece of cake at Snowtown's weekly 'stitch and bitch' session at Snowtown Newsagency Picture: Russell Millard

Sharee Cocks, who celebrates her 60th birthday on Saturday, was among the members trying to stitch together any clues.

“We have tried to guess who it is but we have no idea,” Mrs Cocks said.

“If I won the $40m I’d have had a heart attack by now but I’d share it with my family.”

  • The winner, who has chosen to remain anonymous, had joked with a friend about winning Powerball just hours before scooping the entire $40m division one pool with a ticket she bought online.

The Snowtown mum had to pull over while driving when she received the life-changing phone call from Powerball operator The Lott, and promptly went into hysterics on Thursday night.

  • “Oh my God! Oh my God! F--k off! F--k off! My brain isn’t working at the moment,” she said when an official from The Lott delivered the news.

  • “Forty million dollars? Is this true? I can’t believe it … funnily enough, I was joking around with a friend earlier this morning saying if I won division one in Powerball, I’d go on a holiday around the world.

“It’s been a tough few months, so this is life-changing.”

  • Her 50-game QuickPick was the only winning entry around Australia.

  • The whole town – a population of about 400 – has been engulfed in a guessing game of who the winner is.

Rob Vanderveen inside the Snowtown Bank shop
Snowtown Bank owner Rob Vanderveen. Picture: Russell Millard

Rob Vanderveen, owner of the infamous Snowtown Bank, buys a lotto ticket every week from Snowtown Newsagency and had wished he had won the $40m prize.

“(People are asking each other) ‘what’s the limo parked at the front of your place?’” he said.

“It’s just a good laugh, we have a good laugh here in town. I’d probably buy the pub and get it rolling properly if I won the money.

“We’ll find out who won the $40m at some stage.”

Greg Stevens outside the Snowtown Solutions shopfront
Greg Stevens, owner of Snowtown Solutions and chairman of Community Management Committee Picture: Russell Millard

Snowtown Solutions owner and local Community Management Committee chairman Greg Stevens, born and bred in the small country town, also had no clue as to who the winner might be.

  • “A few of us have done the assessment but it’s not necessary that she’s in the town,” he said.

  • “She called Snowtown her local town. Now that encompasses a reasonable area.

  • “There may be people within the greater community who have moved here in the last few years who may well be in their 40s and I would have no idea who they are.

I found out about the news in the local store and when they said it, I said ‘bulls--t’.”

Mr Stevens said he too would keep quiet if he had won the jackpot.

“If any of that information gets out $40m could destroy a person’s life,” he said.

  • “I suppose people, because of Snowtown’s history ... would be protective of that person.

  • “But if their name got out there, how do you protect against the wider world?”

Rodney Rowe, inside his store Diamonds and Rust in Snowtown
Rodney Rowe, owner of Diamonds and Rust, says he'd clean up the town's garden if he had won $40m. Picture Russell Millard

Diamonds and Rust owner Rodney Rowe, 50, said if he won the lottery, he would clear up the part of the town’s garden near the railway and build an Anzac walkway.

“I can’t really think of much else,” he said.

“I would hope she would spend some of the money in town but then again, maybe $40m does change people.”

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